Open science

Thinking about open science. Mainly understood as making data and results open to society (i.e. not to private companies or collectives), especially when research has been publicly funded.

Yet science–including research done in the humanities–should also open its backstage. Research appears always neat, solid, well-argued in books, articles, conferences. But a major part of the process leading to those results remains in the shadows. I’m thinking of obstacles and failures, but also of doubts.

Doubt has been removed from the public view. An extreme example: major research calls ask for contingency plans in case your hypothesis or methodology fail at some point. Also in the humanities. Everything has to be so tightly planned beforehand that, once you get the funding, it seems almost irrelevant to carry out the project–you already know what will happen.

It would be instructive to see what lies behind a book, an article, a talk, a course, a translation.